Meridian falls to Southwest
TOUGH TRAFFIC MCC's Genice Terry forces her way to the basket against Southwest's Nakeya Downing on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
March 7, 2002
CLINTON More unfinished business.
The 25th-ranked Southwest Mississippi Community College Lady Bears spoiled Meridian Community College's hopes of a Region 23 Tournament championship with an 80-68 win over the 12th-ranked Lady Eagles Wednesday afternoon at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
Southwest, 21-6, advances to tonight's 6 p.m. championship against 25-2 Copiah-Lincoln, a 65-55 semifinal winner over Itawamba.
MCC was trailing by only four points (62-58) with six minutes to go before the Lady Bears scored on offensive rebound putbacks on three consecutive possessions.
Forced to foul, MCC sent the Lady Bears to the free-throw line 18 times over the final two minutes with Southwest making only eight.
Yet MCC was unable to make a comeback as the Lady Eagles got only a pair of free throws from Cantea Brown with 1:26 left and a 3-pointer from Monique Horner with just 28.8 seconds remaining.
MCC didn't shoot well much of the contest, but the final six minutes saw the Lady Eagles make just three baskets. Many shots came within four feet of the basket.
Southwest handed the Lady Eagles two of their three losses this season.
Southwest jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the game's first three minutes.
MCC took its first lead at 20-19 on a basket by Brown with 9:16 left in the first half. Brown scored 10 straight points for MCC to give the Lady Eagles a 25-21 lead.
A three-point play by Brown sent MCC into halftime with a 36-35 advantage.
The Lady Eagles grabbed their biggest lead of the game at 46-41 with 14:33 remaining on a 3-pointer from Horner.
Southwest then reeled off 19 of the next 25 points to take control of the game. MCC was leading 48-47 after a basket by Genice Terry with 12:22 left. Southwest answered with a long two-pointer from Traci Forrest and a 3-pointer from Nakeya Downing for a 52-49 lead with 11:52 left. The Lady Bears would never trail again.
Terry and Horner combined for 50 points in Monday's 89-80 quarterfinal win over East Central. Southwest held them to just 23.
Brown led MCC with 25 points. Horner scored 13, Terry had 10, Tijwana Collins added nine, Felicia Washington six, and Nikki Yarbrough five.
The Lady Eagles finished 29-3, setting a school record for wins in a season.
Downing led Southwest with 25 points. Natasha Booth and Forrest both had 13 and Colette White added 12.